E.D.Wis.: Some inference on inference permitted in showing PC in affidavit

The affidavit here was not just piling inference on inference to attempt to show probable cause. This was an ongoing drug operation, and the probable cause is present despite some “inductive” reasoning. United States v. Merced, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 28122 (E.D. Wis. Feb. 21, 2023):*

Courts have cautioned against ‘arriv[ing] at probable cause simply by piling hunch upon hunch.’ United States v. Valenzuela, 365 F.3d 892, 897 (10th Cir. 2004). At the same time, a judge considering an affidavit may draw reasonable inferences without running afoul of the Fourth Amendment. See United States v. Carmel, 548 F.3d 571, 575 (7th Cir. 2008). Here, though dependent on a few inductive leaps, the affidavit Higgins presented permits the reasonable inference that drug dealing paraphernalia might have existed in Merced’s home at the time law enforcement executed their search. Immediately prior to delivering a sample of heroin to CS, Suarez visited a residence belonging to Merced, a known heroin dealer with direct connections to Silva-Jimenez-the man who had first introduced Suarez and CS. Suarez returned to Merced’s house on numerous occasions.

This entry was posted in Probable cause. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.